CHUNTERING ON…

Well, I’d like to say that the past 24 hours has been something of a learning curve, but in reality they’ve been more of an unlearning experience; I’m now grumpy, confused and frustrated because I can’t find ways of formatting this blog as I would like.

  • WIDGETS

I’ve now got a side-bar with widgets – yey!   I’m still not sure what widgets actually are, but they seem to be links to organise and collate information, so I’m calling this ‘progress’ of sorts.

  • PAGES

This has been my biggest nightmare so far.  What I would really like is a nice neat row of tabs along the top of my page, which will link to other topic pages – I’m trying to avoid the hideous ‘shopping list’ format I had yesterday, and really need to find ways of categorising and sorting information, partly for my own sake but also for ease of user-access.  I can produce pages, but haven’t found a way of linking posts to individual pages; the ‘Help’ facility simply states that a ‘page’ is much the same as a ‘post’, so that’s no help whatsoever.  So, after much cutting, pasting, trawling the Dashboard & colourful language, I’ve now deleted the pages I created yesterday – I simply don’t have the time to faff on with this because I have work to produce, & I’m disappointed with WordPress in that producing this kind of format, which I think most creators / users would want and expect as standard, is either impossible, or a rather complex process which I haven’t discovered yet.  Again, back to the design issue – perhaps the ‘theme’ I selected doesn’t support this?

  • CATEGORIES / CATEGORY CLOUD

Selected this from the widgets and have now managed to link my posts to ‘categories’ – thank you Caroline!:-) – the result of which is that I can now organise the posts into topic groups, and links to the various categories are listed on the sidebar widget.  The downside is that, regarding user-friendliness and accessibility, they aren’t that visible – the font is small, the location is not where a user would expect to find navigation links, and because I have also changed my ‘front page’ to the ‘static’ option, the only access to the categorised information is via these links.  I suspect that most users wouldn’t realise that access to other posts is via these links, but most importnantly for myself and the consideration of using a WordPress blog with students, this is a real clanger – my learners would really struggle to navigate and locate information on this blog, and therefore in its present form, I wouldn’t even consider using this in a classroom context.  I need to find a way of having bold, clear, easy to locate tabs across the top of the page.

I have currently selected the Category Cloud, as opposed the the straight Category option – I’m hoping that the cloud will work a bit like Wordle, so will be an interesting visual.  I suspect I may end up having both on there, because if the cloud develops as I am anticipating, once again, it might not be as user-friendly as it needs to be – these Category links MUST be a clear as possible, since they are, at present, the only route of access to the Reflections and Tasks posts.

I’m also considering adding a further category where I can store some interesting classroom writing task ideas which have appeared on the Reader page – it would be good to have a stash of useful ideas to try out.  I’m not sure yet how to grab this stuff – I think perhaps the ‘reblog’ icon could work in the same way as a FB ‘share’ button?

EXCITING TECHIE MOMENT…

When this post is published, I’ll be able to see if the Categories Cloud works as I am hoping.

Ooooh, it works! 🙂 & it’s very pretty too 🙂  Have now added a Categories List format as well, because these links must be really clear & easy to locate.

Changes don’t take place immediately or by clicking ‘refresh’ – the cloud took about 10 mins to change.  Also, I’ve just added another ‘category’ which isn’t showing yet – maybe I need to link a post to it first?

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